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Keystone Resort welcomes card sharps and high rollers

KEYSTONE – Before Indian casinos and riverboat gambling spread high-roller fever across the nation, card sharps congregated in smoky back rooms and basements or drove 12 hours across the desert to let loose in Sin City.

For one night only, the Summit County Chamber of Commerce stages a taste of Las Vegas glamour and excitement, transforming the Keystone Convention Center into a world-class casino in celebration of the 15th annual Monte Carlo night.

“The entire evening is an exceptional experience,” said Marie Albertson, marketing and events director of the Summit County Chamber of Commerce.



“You have everything from gaming to live entertainment to dancing, as well as fantastic food. If you’re not a big gamer, you have the opportunity to dance all night, mingle and take part in activities like Measurement by Manics, where people buy as many raffle tickets as they want, and we give away $200.”

Because of this year’s economy and last year’s dip in attendance after the terrorist attacks, the chamber offers two ticket options for the event. The first provides the full Monty – a reception, dinner, live music and gaming. The other offers gaming without the dinner.



The chamber will hold two receptions, one from 6-7 p.m. for full diners and one from 7:30-8:30 p.m. for gamers only. Both feature starbursts of fruit, cheeses from around the world, smoked turkey breast appetizers, cherry tomatoes with cheese, chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries and petite pastries.

For dinner, Keystone Chef Ned presents a gathered green salad, beef tenderloin, Cajun crab cakes and a divine chocolate creation.

Gamers receive $100 of fun money to try their luck at blackjack, multiaction blackjack (a progressive game where card sharps play several hands), roulette, craps, pai-gow poker, a let-it-ride table and a virtual slot machine that pays out in a private trip to Blackhawk for a group of 14. Those down on their luck may buy additional chips.

“It’s one night out of the year you’re allowed to really let loose and not worry about breaking the bank because it’s fun money, not real money,” Albertson said.

Funkiphino, an 11-piece, brass-driven, heavy disco and funk band, lights up Monte Carlo Night with strobes, smooth horn lines and old school Hammond organ sounds while diva Jessica Roward fires off covers by Donna Summer and Aretha Franklin. The band’s influences range from Earth, Wind and Fire, through Tower of Power to Stevie Wonder.

The silent auction offers nearly 200 items, including season ski passes, a pheasant hunting trip in Yuma, lodging at the Warwick Hotel in New York, dinner at the Garden Room, gift baskets, river raft trips and one of the most popular items, dinner for two for 12 months.

“Our silent auction is fantastic because we have so many diverse items,” Albertson said.

At the end of the evening, gamers who haven’t lost their shirts – so to speak – and meet the minimum fun-money requirement can enter the big drawing for the grand prize. (Last year’s prize was a dinner sleigh ride.)

Tickets for an evening of dinner and gaming are $75 if purchased through Friday, Nov. 8, and $85 after Nov. 8. Tickets for gaming only are $45 through Nov. 8 and $50 afterward. Proceeds benefit the Summit County visitor information center and the Summit County Chamber of Commerce. Previous events have raised $15,000 each and have attracted about 500 people.

Players practice their poker faces at 8 p.m., after a reception or dinner, Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Keystone Convention Center. To reserve tickets, call (970) 668-2051.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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